The tribe's guide to nesting
We have all heard the stories about pregnant women going into a frantic cleaning spree prior to the arrival of their baby. Maybe you yourself have found yourself in a similar situation, perhaps scrubbing tiles at 3am or re-washing loads of cloths and sheets that you know are perfectly clean. Nesting before having your baby is a perfectly normal, completely natural urge that about 70% of pregnant women experience. It is also completely normal to not feel this way at all and to just want to relax prior to becoming a parent. Either way, doing some sort of preparation to your house prior to bringing your bundle of joy home is never a bad idea.
At New to the Tribe we like to talk about conscious shopping. No, we don't mean shopping while your awake, we are talking about putting thought into the products you buy and the brands you choose to support. Thinking about the quality of the products, as well as their impact and ethics, is a good place to start. We have put together a little guide to help you prepare your home for your baby.
1. Baby proof for a newborn
Although it's going to be a long time before your baby is getting in the cupboards and trying to stick their fingers in power sockets, there are still a few safety hazards you need to look in to before bringing your baby home. Go for a walk through your house, starting at the front door. Try to imagine you have your baby in your arms, you’re sleep deprived and you’re a little sore. As you walk through your house, look out for potential tripping hazards or things you might pump into that could possibly cause harm. For example, shoes that are not put away or a knife block that hangs off the bench to far. Heading to the bathroom, does the shower leave the floor wet and slippery? Your newborn will spend a lot of time in your arms, either being fed or just having a cuddle. Before your baby comes home, you want to try to minimise any risk of tripping whilst holding your baby, along with any possible falling objects.
2. Look behind the fridge
If you’re going to spring clean the house, you may as well do it properly. Check behind the bigger items like the fridge, washing machine, behind the couch and the TV. You will be surprised at the things you find. If you can, try to get someone else to help you move the heavy items. It's also a great time to get the carpet and curtains steamed along with vacuuming out any vents or filters. Remember not to exert yourself too much, only tackle one task at a time and take plenty of breaks.
3. Don’t buy everything at the baby store
Newborns are tiny little humans that don't need much more than to be fed, warm and clean. In today's world it's so easy to fall into the trap of consumerism and feel the need to buy every contraption and gizmo there is out there to “make your life easier”. Your baby needs somewhere safe to sleep, something warm to sleep in and somewhere to be cleaned and changed. Buying other equipment and products before your baby comes can be truly wasteful. It happens all too often, you go to the baby expo or the local baby mart to buy a cot and come home with thousands of dollars’ worth of products that the sales person had you convinced will change your life. It's understandable, you’re excited and some products truly are helpful. But our advice to you is just wait. Wait until you’re at home with your baby and you actually know you would use these things. If a friend recommends something to you that they have used personally, and it did change their life, then this is different, this person isn't trying to make a sale, otherwise try to hold off.
4. Buy pre-loved when you can
Once again, a reminder your newborn is tiny and will grow out of things very quickly. Not only will buying second hand furniture and clothing save you money, it will also help reduce the waste we produce every year and the stress we put on the environment to keep up with demand for new things. Have a chat to friends or family members about whether they have kept any newborn items that you could share.
5. Use products that are good for your family and the environment
Conscious shopping is all about thinking about the products your using, where they come from and the impact they are having. If you follow New to the Tribe on social media, you are probably aware they we are big supporters of Tom Organic, Tom’s Tooshies and Eco Store when it comes to buying baby products. This is because their products are made with plant based minerals, which means they are much better for yourself and won't cost us the environment. Tom Organic have best maternity pads out there, they are so big and soft and exactly what any new mum needs. Tom’s Tooshies range of nappies and wipes are so much more sustainable for the planet than the average nappy and are super soft and breathable for your baby’s toosh. Eco Store have you covered from baby skin care to laundry liquid and bathroom cleaner and everything in between. When are you up 3am scrubbing your bathroom with a toothbrush, you can have peace of mind that you’re not breathing in any nasty chemicals, in fact you will be breathing in a delightful plant based aroma. The washing and cleaning will increase when you have a baby, not to mention the 10-12 times your baby’s nappy will need changing per day, so try and be a little conscious about the products you are choosing to use.
6. Stock that freezer
Get the stock pot out and get cooking. Making soups, pasta sauces, lasagne and other foods that can easily be stored and reheated will be the best gift you can give yourself. If people want to buy you things or help you out, get them to bring food! Having a good supply of stress free meals prepared for about the first month will take away so much unwanted stress and free up so much valuable time.
7. Don't strive too hard for perfection
No one is perfect, we hear this a lot, but it's true. Striving to have the perfectly clean house, the perfect nursery and to be the perfect parent is only going to set you up for major disappointment when it doesn't happen. It's impossible to do everything perfectly all the time. So, give yourself a break, try hard, push through the challenges, but if things aren't perfect, or take longer then you thought, or simply just don't work out, don't feel like you have failed. Everything becomes heightened when we are pregnant or have just had a baby. Our hormones are fluctuating, our bodies are changing and we are sleep deprived. Take a step back, take a big breath and move on.
8. Enjoy this time
The thought of meeting your own child for the first time is tremendously exciting. What will they look like? Will they have hair? How much will they weigh? Counting down the days before their arrival is something most expecting parents do, whilst thinking time could not go quick enough. We are not saying this is a bad thing by any means, we simply want to encourage you to enjoy this time for yourself. Make the most of the time you do have, because it will be the last time you’re on your own for a very long time. Take that long bath, read that book, watch those movies and just enjoy being you. Catch up with friends and loved ones you don't get to see all the time and do the things you like to do. Because, when your baby arrives, all the spare time you have now to have “me” time will be consumed by your little bundle of joy.